Japan can and should do more to improve its record on human rights as it seeks a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, according to the secretary general of Amnesty International.

The bid for a permanent presence on the Security Council "obviously means that Japan wants a bigger role internationally," Irene Khan said in an interview with The Japan Times.

"As Japan becomes more active in the U.N., there will obviously be more scrutiny of what Japan is doing outside Japan and also what Japan is doing inside about human rights issues," said Khan, who was in Japan last week on one of her tours around the world to raise awareness of human rights issues.